Photo of Erin Brady
Erin Brady
PhD Candidate, University of Rochester
I'm a third-year PhD student in the Computer Science Department at the University of Rochester in Rochester, NY. I work in the Human-Computer Interaction group with my advisor Jeff Bigham.
Twitter: @erinleebrady
Email: brady at cs dot rochester
Office Number: 615
Research Interests:
My research interest are mainly within the field of accessibility, and using the power of a "crowd" of human workers to provide equal access to users.
Research Project: VizWiz Social

This project is an extention to VizWiz, a nearly-realtime question answering service for blind users. The original project allows users to photograph their surroundings with a mobile phone, ask a question about the photograph, and receive answers from anonymous workers within seconds. The new iteration allows users to post questions to members of their social networks, in order to determine some of the factors that affect where they send their queries - specifically looking at privacy, financial and social costs, and time.

We've conducted a number of projects with data collected from VizWiz Social. Some of the recent ones include categorizing a large sample of questions in order to identify everyday accessibility challenges, examining the use of social networking sites (SNSs) by blind people and their view of SNSs for question asking, and looking at subjective questions in the realm of fashion for blind women. These projects have been conducted in collaboration with Meredith Ringel Morris from Microsoft Research and Amy Hurst and Michele Williams at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

Full Papers Other Publications
  • (poster) Brady, E. Analyzing Visual Questions for Visually Impaired Users. In Proceedings of the the 13th International ACM SIGACCESS Conference on Computers & Accessibility (ASSETS 2011), Dundee, Scotland, 2011. (link coming)
  • (position paper) Bigham, J. P., Brady, E. and White, S. Human-Backed Access Technology. In Proceedings of the CHI 2011 Workshop on Crowdsourcing and Human Computation. Vancouver, BC, 2011. Available from the website for the Crowdsourcing and Human Computation workshop.

I am currently the teaching assistant for CSC212/412, Human-Computer Interaction, in Fall 2012 with Jeff Bigham. My office hours are Wednesdays at 1:30-2:30pm and Friday at 3:15-4:00pm in CSB 615.

I have also been the teaching assistant for the HCI course in Fall 2011, and for CSC172, The Science of Data Structures, in Spring 2011 with Ted Pawlicki.

Without warning, she asked me, "Hey, Watanabe, can you explain the difference between the English subjunctive present and the subjunctive past?"
"I think I can," I said.
"Let me ask you, then, what purpose does stuff like that serve in daily life?"
"None at all," I said. "It may not serve any concrete purpose, but it does give you some kind of training to help you grasp things in general more systematically."
Midori took a moment to give that some serious thought. "You're amazing," she said. "That never occurred to me before. I always thought of things like the subjunctive case and differential calculus and chemical symbols as totally useless. A pain in the neck. So I've always ignored them. Now I have to wonder if my whole life has been a mistake."

-- Norwegian Wood, Haruki Murakami